Adjunct Instructor of Horn
Ilze Brink-Button, a native of South Africa, has been a lecturer of Horn at Cornell University in Ithaca since 2008 and horn instructor at Binghamton University since January 2020. Prior to that, she was the horn professor at Onondaga Community College in Syracuse for 15 years, where she also directed the brass ensembles.
Brink-Button started her first musical instruction at the age of 7 on the piano. She began studying the horn at the age of 11 and soon thereafter won several concerto competitions in South Africa on both French horn and piano. At the age of 13, she made her solo debut playing concertos on both horn and piano playing with the Free State Symphony Orchestra and the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra in South Africa. She won several concerto competitions to play with other orchestras, including the CAPAB Symphony Orchestra in Cape Town and the South African Broadcasting Corporation Symphony Orchestra, where she appeared twice on National Television playing concertos on the horn.
She also made several live television and radio recordings, performing chamber music works including the Brahms Horn Trio, Mozart Horn Quintet, Beethoven Sextet and many more. Additionally, she won several scholarships to further her musical studies from the Royal College of Music and UNISA (South Africa).
From 1978 to 1982, Brink-Button was a member of the South African National Youth Orchestra and toured Israel, France and Switzerland with the orchestra. In February 1984 at age 20, she won a full-time assistant principal horn position with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra (CTSO) in South Africa and toured Taiwan and Hong Kong with that organization in November 1988.
Brink-Button was a music performance major at the University of the Free State in South Africa and furthered her studies with John Covert at Ithaca College of Music during her absence from the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. In 1987, while a student at Ithaca College, she earned the privilege of performing the Franz Strauss Horn Concerto with the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra as a winner of that institution’s concerto competition. During summers between 1990 and 2015, Brink-Button served on the faculty of the Hartwick College Summer Music Festival and Institute in Oneonta as well as the New York Summer Music Festival.
She currently teaches horn at the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Acqui Terme, Italy, as well as at the New England Conservatory Summer Orchestra Institute in Boston. Since moving to the United States, she has held positions with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Utica Symphony Orchestra, Catskill Symphony Orchestra and various other regional professional musical organizations. She also performed regularly with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Symphoria, Albany Symphony, Binghamton Philharmonic and the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra.